Why do some schools have Adult Karate Sparring and some do not….
I have been training in MA for many years now and I have been lucky enough to take part in a few different systems and schools over those years. What I found, and still find, disturbing is this nonsense that too many martial arts teachers spew from their mouths to get students in. Something like- “we teach self defense too dangerous to use in sparring… ” or ” you don’t need to spar because your hands are too deadly” If you say that with a red GI and cut off arms it starts to be a comedy show…. (if you don’t know what I mean,,, look up master Ken. Best Martial Arts Comedy ever!!)
The other reason I think instructors don’t add karate sparring is because of insecurity. They are convinced of the idea that as the instructor and highest ranking Black Belt they should never be hit and they should be dominant during sparring. But inside they KNOW that’s not the case. The truth is that during sparring everyone is equal because its not Kenpo but It is two adults training emotional and physical responses. AND EVERYONE TAKES A HIT. I have no problem being getting hit from a seasoned Black Belt to the newest white belt because that is a life lesson- You will get hit in a fight. Learn to deal with it and respond correctly.
The difference in what I consider honest instructors and fake instructors is that honest instructors are humble and understand this and don’t pretend to be the invincible. Lets be honest- Knowing Kenpo and being a Black Belt means I have not quit at training and I achieved something that took longer than getting a MBA! But It does not mean I am a tough fighter or invincible. I learned the warrior spirit and gained my internal toughness from years in the Army testing my myself in ways the average person does not. While I can’t simulate Ranger School in Kenpo Class I can teach the principles and run a good class teaching Kenpo but with a warrior spirit.
The fact is, we either teach Martial Arts… or we don’t. And to be a martial artist you have to spar with an opponent to learn what it is like to be in a simulated situation. Karate Sparring is a very important part of developing the mind and it is critical in developing and learning how to control emotional responses that only occur in a fight. I spent 16 years in the US Army and we trained hard because the more you sweat in training the less you bleed in combat. The point is, if you don’t do karate sparring, you are not teaching self defense.
This is why I added adult karate sparing to my adult classes. I want to say I am teaching self defense and I want my students to be well rounded and ready for what can happen.